June 29, 2020

That Comfortable Cup of Tea!

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Mercy Sisters Lynda Dearlove (the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy GB) and Deirdre Mullan (Congregation - Ireland) are both Trustees of the Arise Foundation, an organization co-founded by philanthropist John Studzinski and Luke de Pulford in 2015.

Recognizing that the abolition of all forms of slavery is a daunting task, and that frontline organizations are making a real impact where it is most needed, the Arise Foundation is focused on enabling exploited people to move towards liberation and creating the conditions for stronger laws to be implemented.  It is a multi-dimensional, cross-sectional approach and it is working!

Arise was established in 2015 to achieve abolition by developing and supporting frontline networks, which consist mainly of Religious Sisters.  Collaboration is at the heart of what Arise does, finding and developing dynamic alliances with networks of frontline abolitionists, catalyzing and developing their work.

Arise believes strongly that slavery cannot be abolished unless people of goodwill across all sectors come together.  Many of these frontline groups are formed into networks – structures that are increasingly seen as integral to abolition.  But their institutions often lack the skills and resources to make the most of their potential and to be self-sustaining.

These frontline networks are a hugely powerful, but marginalized and underdeveloped resource.  Arise provides financial support, helping to deliver essential help on the ground, offer advice and administrative or capacity-building support to build their power.

For example, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck the global community, Arise, with its nimble, creative and ‘get things done’ approach, was able to make decisions to get help to the most vulnerable and to do so very quickly.

Tea workers. Photo courtesy of Jessica Templeman, Director, Programs, Arise Foundation

We in the Mercy World who love that comfortable cup of tea might want to explore the origins of that tea – and at the same time witness the kind of help that Arise can offer.  During the pandemic, which shut down the tea garden work in rural lower Assam, the tea pickers found themselves out of work, cut off from their families with no access to food or supplies.  Of greatest concern was their lack of information about this deadly virus crisscrossing our globe.  Thanks to the quick action and rapid response of Arise, the workers were provided with food and face masks, as well as being taught about how Covid-19 spreads and how to prevent it.

  • We in the western world who love our cup of tea, be it hot or iced, might look at the work of the Arise Foundation and ask ourselves again: where has this tea come from?
  • We in the Mercy World who use the “comfortable cup of tea” for many and varied reasons, need to ask ourselves about the comfort level and kind of lifestyle endured by those who pick the leaves and process the tea!

During the lockdown, Arise managed to feed 20,536 people in India, Albania and the Philippines through lockdown.

To stand with Arise and join the anti-slavery movement, visit their website or follow them on social media:
Website: https://www.arisefdn.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARISE.fdn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/arisefdn

For more information about the work of the Arise Foundation and how to support their work contact:

Lynda Dearlove rsm– Lynda.Dearlove@watw.org.uk

Deirdre Mullan rsm – Deirdremullanun@aol.com

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